10 Steps To Retaining Your Business' Customers

Customers are a very important part of any business. A loyal customer base means you enjoy a good reputation, which can gain you new customers. No business can survive without customer retention because it is incredibly important for growing a sustainable business.
These are the steps you should take to build up customer relations even as you draw in new ones.

1. Extraordinary customer service

Train your employees to be respectful to clients. Treat everyone as a valued customer. You want to keep your customer so satisfied that they tell others about how well they were treated while doing business with you. Happy customers become loyal customers, and loyal customers provide referrals. 

2. Build trust with customers

You do business with people you trust. Customers won't stay with a business they don't trust. Also, as trust increases, customer commitment tends to grow.
So how do you build trust? Be consistent and honest with customers. No customers will go back to a business that is not transparent with them

3. Be proactive

Apply a proactive approach to customer service. Forestall problems before they occur and be proactive in creating solutions.
Proactive service is about anticipating customer complaints and addressing concerns before they happen.

4. Build a relationship online

Choose the right platform for your business to interact with customers online and offline. The best way to improve your online customer service efforts is to use the channel your customers most prefer

5. Exceed expectations

Creating, meeting and exceeding customer expectations is one of the best ways to increase customer retention. People love to be pleasantly surprised and your customers will appreciate it when you go above and beyond what they expect.
Go the extra mile for your customers, because, if they feel like you under-delivered, they won’t come back and buy from you again.

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6. Settle problems in a timely manner

Customer issues will arise from time to time, and how you handle these disputes will determine whether or not you lose a customer.
Listen attentively to customer complaints and treat them as quickly as possible. Settle disputes amicably and with a positive attitude. Let the customer know you are more than happy to make them satisfied.

7. Be personal

Personalized services build trust, increase customer satisfaction and result in stronger customer relationships. People don't want to feel like their talking to a robot or a "company". 
Always address customers by their name, remember special occassions, check in with them spontaneously. This will show you that you care about your customers and that you value them.

8. Be consistent

Consistency results in a great customer experience that creates loyal customers. Be consistent with what you say and do
Also, clients tend to remember negative experiences. So even if you've over delivered a hundred times, and you don't meet their expectations once, they may not want to continue doing business with you.

9. Be attentive

Listen to your customers. Let them be able to tell you exactly what they think about your business, services they received, and any other constructive criticism or praise.
Maintain customer complaint records and record feedback to provide a precise picture of the types of issues that arise, frequency of complaints and so on

10. Be the expert

By becoming a trusted source, you can build a relationship which leads to dependency. Your customers trust you and rely on you to give them the best advice.
You want your customer to think of you first when they need advice or a solution to an industry-specific problem. Offer free advice. You may have to offer some services and give your time, free of charge. 
Your customers want you to be engaging, supportive, consistent, and reliable. To retain customers, you have to keep up with changing trends, technological advances, and cultural shifts. You have to adapt with your customers over time, so that what you offer continues to be relevant to them. You will see a dramatic increase in business growth, client retention and long-term relationships with happy customers that drive success and revenue.

Image Source: Persuasive Marketing

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